Collier County Citizens Organize in Support of Public Schools

by Beth Povlo

Collier-County_logo-stackedConcerned citizens in Collier County, Florida decided that it was time to stand up and be counted in support of finding constructive solutions to the challenges facing our public schools.

They organized the Coalition for Quality Public Education.

In this post, Beth Povlo explains their origin and mission.  As groups like these become active, their voices will be heard.

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Who are the Winners and Losers in School Choice?

Feature of the Week

Feature of the Week

Parents care not only about the quality of education offered but also the mix of children in a school.  How does the premise that “More choice should produce a better educational fit between what parents want for their children and ultimately lead to better educational outcomes” work out over time?

This study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research looks at data from North Carolina.  We all need to understand the consequences of choice.

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Maine Charter Schools Are Not Like Florida’s

Maine Starting a charter in Maine is very different than in Florida.  There are basically two routes.   The district can issue a request for proposal that specifies the type of charter desired.  The Charter School Commission can also authorize a charter school, but it is limited to ten schools over ten years.  Charter schools have their own district instead of being part of the local school district.  This is very different from the system in Florida.
Maine had a curious funding plan for charters.  Local districts paid tuition for students to attend them.  Now, the state will pay the bill directly to charters.  There are only six charter schools in Maine, and one is a virtual charter.  The net effect is that money for charters will come off the top.  Thus, local districts will end up sharing the cost rather than having each district subtract funding from its budget.
It is early days for charter schools in Maine.  The impact of the change from district funding to the State is yet to be determined.  Next year, district funding will not be reduced for students attending charter schools.  What happens after that is yet to be determined.

Poll: Americans Want Better Charter Management

Recently, a new national survey found that Americans overwhelmingly favor proposals to make charter schools more accountable, accessible, and transparent.  The survey also found that Americans want to make sure that neighborhood public schools do not lose funding when charter schools open.  Finally, voters strongly support a proposal that would require charter teachers to meet the same certification requirements as educators in traditional public schools.  There is more to the story.  Read on for basic facts and recommendations for strengthening charter oversight.

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Palm Beach School District Sues State

palm beachShould a charter be able to open only because they can fill out a form properly?  In February the Palm Beach League of Women Voters sponsored a panel on charter school issues.   Frank Biden, spokesperson for Mavericks Schools, was there along with a Palm Beach County Commissioner and a School Board member.  He acknowledged in a Sun Sentinel interview that “{Charter schools} should not open in areas where there is not a need.”

This sounds good, but what has happened since?

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